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When it comes to political analysis, there are few more insightful than Michael Barone. His latest piece points up this fascinating indication of just how much of the bloom has gone off the Obama rose. Barone notes that Obama’s current lead in the polls is due almost entirely to his lead among young voters, and then points out that those young voters have become a lot less enthusiastic over the last few months:
There’s no question that enthusiasm for Obama has come down since it became clear over the last few months that he’s just a man. But the drop in enthusiasm among young voters and Democrats is startling. If you then contrast it with the steadiness of the number for Republican voters — who are supposed to be dispirited about their candidate and their prospects — Democrats have real reason to be worried.
Read the rest of Barone’s piece for a list of target states that McCain might be able to swing to his column based on his advantage over Obama among older voters:
If it makes sense for McCain to work to turn out older voters—a big if, and this group usually turns out pretty well anyhow—then there are more targets among these heavily over-60 states for McCain than there are in heavily under-30 states for Obama: Florida (27 electoral votes), Pennsylvania (21 electoral votes), Iowa (7 electoral votes), South Dakota (3 electoral votes), Montana (3 electoral votes), and North Dakota (3 electoral votes). Not what I would have guessed before I ran the numbers.
If McCain can win Pennsylvania in particular, the math becomes far more problematic for Obama.